PSYCHOTHERAPY/COUNSELLING METHODS OVERVIEW
Excerpted from Reddit
- EFT (Emotionally focused therapy) is brief therapy (brief therapy generally means 8-20 sessions) that works on reframing the emotions that one feels so that they are not victims of it, but allies against it. It also focuses on being able to identify and tap into one’s emotions.
- Gottman, well, read the AMAer’s responses, really. You look at the various aspects of the relationship (e.g. communication (or lack thereof), conflict management, etc.) and attempt to reframe it. Haven’t been taught it, so he’d be a better answerer than me on this.
- Narrative. It’s a person’s story expressed with more detail than one might normally tell. It also allows for the narrator (the client) to externalize problems. In this, I mean that the problem is given a name (such as “Angry Man” (yes, it can be that simple)) and then the narrator chooses how to interact with that problem. Admittedly, I am not the best person to talk about this one as I haven’t dabbled enough into it.
- DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is something I have not been in contact with before and so this is Wikipedia’d. It sounds like its used for those who are harming themselves, such as suicidal patients and substance users (yes, this ALWAYS includes alcohol). It attempts to help the person find inner strength (e.g. self-soothing, ACCEPT) to capitalize on.
- EMDR (looked this one up too) is used for PTSD. First, history of the traumatic events (and related ones) are taken down. Then, techniques are identified or taught to the client to combat the negative emotions, behaviors, etc. that one experiences because of the event. Then, the person’s imagination is used to relive the event and use these techniques to calm themselves and self-soothe. Progress is tracked until the next session and then analyzed at the next session.
- Structural therapy is a huge believer in hierarchy. So, parents are the authority ALWAYS, children listen to the parents, older children listen to younger children. Parents are not ‘friends’ with their children – that’s blending dynamics and causes confusion to the children and allows them to manipulate the parents further. By establishing rules (that do have consequences to them and are not empty threats), hierarchy can be re-established.
- Strategic therapy is super brief therapy (usually less than 10 sessions). Clients identify problem, therapist gathers necessary data about it, clients and therapist come up with solution to problem, problem is solved and therapy is over until a new problem arises and you tackle that one. Basically, one problem at a time. (It’s assumed that the solution found would change this one dynamic and that it would have a domino effect on others.)
- Bowenian (Bow-in-e-en) therapy is all about differentiation. Families have triangles. This triangulation is used to the benefit of one party and the detriment of another. The prime example is one parent (let’s say father) and the other (the mother) are fighting. The father, wanting to prove he’s right, calls their son in to settle the argument. The son will side with whomever will end the argument or create a disturbance that focuses on him instead (“I failed Math”). Differentiating oneself from this triangle allows for one not to be pulled in and take a better view and stance for the argument.
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is where one changes the thoughts and behaviors one has about the problem. ‘Boring’, sure, but extremely effective. It does not have the bells and whistles like other theories here, it’s a simple let’s identify your thoughts and feelings about this, stop them when they occur, and replace them with something else.
- Solution focused brief therapy (SBFT, for short) is all about positive. Look to the future, not the past, unless it directly helps in some way. It has the miracle question. Basically, tonight you go to bed and while asleep the problem magically goes away but you don’t know it. What is the first thing when you wake up that tells you, something is different? “What next?” is usually asked to continue the story. Then, you have scaling questions (“How was this previous week?” “6” “6? That’s great! That’s up from the 5 from last week. What changed?”). SFBT looks for exceptions and highlights them (you aren’t always feeling depressed, so when were you happy, angry, not thinking, etc.), to identify for the person their strengths.
- Sandtray therapy is AMAZING. Basically, you put sand in a tray, have HUNDREDS of toys, people (different ages, sizes, color, etc.), superheroes and villains (and I mean a lot of them, too), animals, buildings, cars, etc. etc. etc. You literally cannot have enough, ever. The client starts using/playing in the box and usually creates a story that is then told to the counselor. Usually done with kids, it allows them to express through others the words they are unable to say and tell (without actually ‘telling’) others what’s going on.
- Basically, this guy is eclectic to a T. In that, I mean, he doesn’t ascribe to one model exclusively and tends to use what he deems fit for the situation at hand. Sounds harsh, I know, but it’s been driven into me that I should not be eclectic and stick to one theory of choice. I can borrow assessments and tools from other fields (such as the Bowenian genogram, which is a detailed family tree, or Structural’s triangulation for hierarchical needs, and the sandtray), but only if it’s still through the lens of my theory. Again, not saying he’s wrong, but that’s what I’ve been taught.
- If there’s one thing you should take from all of this, Jotebe, it’s that there are seemingly numerous ways to help another person help themselves. Each has their merits, and each has their pitfalls. None of them are perfect, but they do what they can to help this person in need. And, yes, counselors help clients help themselves. Counselors are not a perpetual crutch to their clients. They are there to pick you up when you’re down (because, let’s be honest, you don’t go to therapy when you’re feeling good about your life) and help you on your way.
Here are two info packed PDF downloads
These are all the best links to Toronto or Ontario services & support I’ve come across – some links may be dead
And these are general mental health links:
And an amazing resource page with tools to help build confidence, love your body, overcome anxiety, recognize disordered eating and so much more:
Roots to Sky offers Integrated Guidance/Coaching Sessions, please don’t hesitate to book now.